In 2018, LEAF celebrated 10 years of service to Lyons. The group began in 2008 as a ministry of Lyons Community Church, when the Rev. Claire Drews and her congregation started a food pantry and basic needs emergency fund to help Lyons residents in need. Then the flood hit in 2013, and the need for a human services safety net became even more apparent.Soon after the flood, in July of 2014 LEAF spun off from the church to become a project of Colorado Nonprofit Development Center.
Emily Dusel was hired alongside the Rev. Emily Flemming to serve as Co-Executive Directors. The group initiated flood advocacy work, continued to operate the weekly food pantry, and greatly increased the basic needs assistance program. In 2016, LEAF was ready to graduate from under Colorado Nonprofit Development Center’s umbrella into their very own 501c3 nonprofit organization. LEAF is now a well-known charitable organization, running the weekly food pantry, holiday programs, Meals on Wheels, and basic needs and resource matching. We like to say that LEAF has grown up over the past ten years; from a ministry of Lyons Community Church, to a startup nonprofit, and finally to a strong nonprofit with community support and great programs.
Looking back on a great 2018, we are thankful for the support of our donors, volunteers, and participants. Two new board members joined LEAF in 2018 – Rebecca Major who recently moved to Lyons with her family and she has served in the military. New member Kevin Schafer is a teacher at the Lyons Middle/Senior. The partnership with LEAF and Lyons Middle/Senior has already grown since Schafer came onboard.
This holiday season the Middle/Senior hosted a household goods & hygiene items drive, delivering hundreds of items such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, soap, and toothpaste to the food pantry. Major is the Mountain Resource Liaison with OUR Center. She is helping LEAF participants meet their basic needs, and access services available county wide. Two board members, Pam Browning and Maridy Dandeneau, retired from the board in 2018 after serving over their three-year terms. We are so thankful for all of the time and energy they dedicated to LEAF.
2019 is sure to be another busy and impactful year for LEAF. Emily Dusel will be transitioning from her position as Executive Director of LEAF in the early spring. “I am so incredibly proud of the compassionate, impactful nonprofit organization LEAF has become. From its beginnings as a ministry of the Lyons Community Church ten years ago, to the charitable organization running three programs, LEAF will always have a special place my heart. With a strong board of directors and an incredible team of volunteers supporting LEAF, I know LEAF will continue to grow and change to meet the needs of Lyons residents.” Dusel plans to remain very active in the nonprofit community in Lyons by serving on boards, volunteering, and offering nonprofit consulting services. The LEAF board wishes a wonderful 2019 to all Lyons residents. “May you all find an
abundance of things to be grateful for,” said Tanya Daty, chair of LEAF.
* This article was originally published by Redstone staff Reports, Redstone Review January 16, 2019
Santesteban, Susan McCann, Tricia Marsh, Tanya Daty, & Rebecca Major. Meghan Pound is
also a board member and is not pictured above.